House of Lies S05E06 & S05E07 - Mini Review

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Marty possesses the king of "You are an idiot" faces, and he puts it to good use in these episodes.
As short texts tend to do, this one is going to get right to it.

A white man pretending to be black in order to get into college and make it big on the market for black hair products strikes me as the type of plot that works on House of Lies, but in few other contexts. 

It would be too absurd for many shows, too serious for some, too tricky for others. Here it’s all of those things, but since absurd, serious and tricky are natural parts of the show’s DNA, it’s not too much to handle. The execution may not be perfect, but I think it strikes a good balance between the personal, the political and the “What The Fuck?” 

Avoiding actual blackface is always good (looking at you, Soul Man), as is making it clear what a clueless idiot a character is without painting anyone else as the hero. What better way to highlight white people delusions than to contrast them with characters living their whole lives in a heightened, warped and morally corrupt world, who still understand enough to call the bullshit immediately? It probably won’t teach the average white person a lot about our mistakes, but then the show isn’t about teachable moments. It’s mostly clever entertainment, with societal critique as an added bonus - a kind of heightened reality where people are worse, but the big issues remain the same (and I guess it’s not that heightened this time). 

Speaking of heightened reality… I just loved seeing the ruthless eye of House of Lies turned towards legalization proponents in the next episode. I think the effects of the “war on drugs” in the US may be enough to justify legalization, but no one can convince me this is the main motivation driving all those middle to upper class pot-lovers. They want their weed, and they want to believe they’re fighting the power. And yes, the political framing can sound just as offensive as it does in this episode. Okay, maybe not quite this offensive - but like I said, heightened.
Tova Crossler Ernström is a bisexual Swede, feminist, socialist, INFJ, Hufflepuff, HSP and Taurus. She is fond of personality tests, labels and lists.